digital photography

BAND, Digital Humanities, Uncategorized

The Mystery and Magic of Photo Processing

I’m lucky enough to have some hidden skills in Adobe Photoshop, and they’ve become quite useful every now and again on the Blake Archive. Photos of manuscripts, though high resolution, still present visual challenges when it comes to identifying near-invisible features like erasures, corrections, and other odd quirks. And while we’re trained to be extremely observant and thorough when analyzing a manuscript, the magic of image-processing software can give us an advantage.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 3: Recovering Overwritten Text

This fall I’ve been blogging about forensic experimentation with Blake Archive images in Adobe Photoshop. The idea is that Photoshop can be a [relatively] cheap, easy, and fast way to either answer transcription questions or allow editors to model alternate views of manuscript images for Archive users. In the last two posts, I’ve used examples of faded, hard-to-read text to illustrate the potential usefulness of digital image manipulation.

Interesting stuff, but also pretty conservative in terms of total image manipulation and Photoshop’s technical abilities. This week, we’re going to push the envelope . . . just a bit.

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Digital Humanities

Blake In Photoshop, Part 2: Recovering Faded Text

A few months ago, I wrote a post that introduced the idea of experimenting with the Archive’s cache of high-resolution digital photography in Photoshop. Experimentation has continued and has provided some interesting results. It’s difficult to label the experiments as successes or failures—the stakes aren’t that high yet. But in the DH/Zen-like spirit of play and working-without-aiming, let’s continue with the fun.

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BAND, Digital Humanities

Blake in Photoshop (Part 1 of…)

We’ve blogged quite a bit about our recent work creating an experimental edition of The Four Zoas. That sort of work has been on the encoding/display end of things. And while that work is ongoing, I’ve since become occupied with digital imaging and the potential editorial/archival uses for digital software, like Adobe Photoshop.

When I first sat down to a computer with some of these questions in mind, it took about five minutes to realize I needed full, lossless, high-resolution files to see anything in meaningful detail. I was able to work out a few techniques for recovering faded text (which I will blog about in the future), but some immediate questions our Rochester group had involved compressed files vs. high-resolution. So, dear reader, if you’ll permit me, today I’m going to respond to the group in blog form with some quick explanations and comparative screenshots.

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